Health and Welfare

4:23pm

Thu October 4, 2012

1:01pm

Wed October 3, 2012
Health and Welfare

Anthem Plan to Serve as Benchmark for Insurance Exchange

The Kentucky Department of Insurance has recommended that the Anthem Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) plan serve as the “benchmark” plan for the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange, as well as for plans offered outside the exchange. The statement issued by the department states that "Anthem PPO is the largest small group plan currently offered in Kentucky and includes coverage for all state mandates and the 10 essential health benefits, or categories of care, specified by the federal government under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

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1:04pm

Tue October 2, 2012
Health and Welfare

Study Measures Obesity Advertisement Effects

What about those anti-obesity ads? Is anyone listening? If so, is anyone motivated to do better? Might they be offensive to some? Educational? Helpful? Are they working at all? More importantly, why and why not? Researchers at Yale University's Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity have stepped into the breach to measure Americans' attitudes about ads meant to encourage less girth and better nutrition.

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6:59am

Mon October 1, 2012
Health and Welfare

The Cost of Crime Examined

Simply counting crimes is not enough.   A study by a Centre College economics professor says we should also count their cost.  So often, Economist Dave Anderson says crime statistics focus on the number of murders, thefts, and burglaries, for instance.  But, Anderson says the real costs associated with crime go far beyond the number of criminal acts.  Some crimes have been on the decline, but that numbers tells only part of the story.

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12:00am

Mon October 1, 2012
Health and Welfare

Lawmaker Hopes to Expand EpiPen Availability in Schools

A Kentucky state lawmaker wants to expand EpiPen use in schools. EpiPens are used to stop the effects of allergic reactions, and currently, state law only allows students with allergies to carry the devices. But Representative Addia Wuchner says not all students are aware of their allergies, and she will again file a bill that would allow schools to carry EpiPens for general use.

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4:11pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

Governor Urges Kentuckians to Get Flu Shots

FRANKFORT – Gov. Steve Beshear and first lady Jane Beshear Friday urged Kentuckians to protect themselves against flu this season. The Beshears received their influenza vaccinations from the staff of First Onsite Clinics, which provide health care services for state employees in several state office clinics. “We make sure to get our flu shots because it’s the best way to prevent the illness,” Gov. Beshear said. “It’s a simple way to help keep yourself and your family healthy.”

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1:29pm

Fri September 28, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Benefit Exchange Board Creates Committees

At its first meeting yesterday, the Kentucky Health Benefit Exchange Advisory Board created committees: Behavioral Health, Dental/Vision, Education/Outreach, Navigator/Agent, Qualified Health Plans and Small Business, reports Jodi Mitchell of Kentucky Voices for Health. (Illustration from The Lane Report)

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4:41pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Mayfield Appointed as Public Health Commissioner

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield

Dr. Stephanie Mayfield has been appointed as the commissioner for the state Department for Public Health, making her the first woman and first African American to hold the position, which has typically been held by a physician. The appointment was made by Audrey Haynes, secretary of health and family services.

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4:39pm

Thu September 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Extra Large Portion Sizes Play Important Role in Obesity

Yikes! According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the "large" soda you order today is about six times as large as the one you ordered 60 years ago. "Food sizes have become larger over time," says Aradhna Krishna, a University of Michigan marketing professor who has been looking into portion size and perception. "So, that same hamburger has become bigger, the french fries have become bigger, and again this is leading to obesity."

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6:19am

Thu September 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

First Meeting of Health Insurance Exchange Board

The advisory board tasked with overseeing Kentucky's health insurance exchange is set to have its first meeting Thursday.  The 19-member board is made up of public officials, insurance executives, doctors and consumer groups. The agenda is short, focusing mainly on organizational tasks like forming subcommittees. The board is also getting an overview of the exchange from Executive Director Carrie Banahan. The exchange will offer Kentuckians an online marketplace to compare and buy health plans, and one of the panel's first tasks will be to choose a vendor to help set up the system.

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6:15am

Thu September 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Members Named to Child Fatality Panel

17 members have been named to a panel to help ensure state agencies meet policies related to the reporting of child abuse and neglect.  The group will investigate child fatalities and near fatalities determined to be the result of child abuse or neglect.    Members of the Child Fatality and Near Fatality External Review Panel will meet quarterly.  They will examine official records and case records.  The group will also analyze medical, psychosocial, and legal circumstances of children to identity conditions which contribute to death or serious injury.

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6:13am

Thu September 27, 2012
Health and Welfare

Recovery Center to Benefit from State Grant

One of Kentucky’s first regional substance abuse treatment centers will benefit from a quarter million dollar grant.  The Trilogy Recovery Center for Women opened in the fall of 2008.  Recovery Kentucky is a program aimed at helping Kentuckians recover from substance abuse and prevent chronic homelessness by offering long term care housing centers.  The Hopkinsville Trilogy Recovery Center provides peer support, addiction counseling, health and daily living education, and job training.

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2:29pm

Tue September 25, 2012
Health and Welfare

Health Centers Prepare for Influx of Newly-Insured Patients

Seven Counties Services CEO Tony Zipple

As Kentucky officials continue to implement the provisions of the Affordable Care Act, doctors are preparing for a rush of new patients in every sector of the health care industry. Seven Counties Services CEO Tony Zipple says at least 25 percent of uninsured Americans have behavioral issues that need attention. And once the Affordable Care Act takes effect, he's expecting to see a flood of newly-insured patients seeking treatments.

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1:42pm

Tue September 25, 2012

2:48pm

Mon September 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Walmart and Humana Team Up to Offer Healthy Discounts

Starting Oct. 15, more than 1 million members of Humana's healthy rewards program will start getting a 5 percent credit on about 1,300 healthy food items at all U.S. Walmart stores starting, the companies have jointly announced.  If that weren't good enough news, reports Reuters, the credit can be used against future Walmart purchases.

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2:47pm

Mon September 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Annual List Cites 18 Kentucky Hospitals as "Top Performers"

Eighteen Kentucky hospitals have been included on the annual list of hospitals that have excelled at adhering to basic procedures for treating common illnesses such as heart attacks and strokes. The Joint Commission, the nation’s major hospital accreditation board, has released this year's list which recognizes 620 hospitals -- only 18 percent of those it accredits -- as “top performers” for following recommended protocols at least 95 percent of the time.

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2:35pm

Mon September 24, 2012

12:28pm

Mon September 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Stomach Virus on the Move

A stomach virus is making its way through some Fayette County Schools.  Health officials suggest spending a little more time over the sink.  It’s not hand to hand combat when it comes to fighting a stomach bug.  It’s soapy hands over the sink which offers the best protection.  Kevin Hall, with the Fayette County Health Department, says a quick squirt of a hand sanitizer might not do the trick.

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11:35am

Mon September 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Football Concussions Under Review

Hard hits are fact of life for football players who compete on the high school, college, and professional levels.  With those hits, comes the risk of significant head injury.  While much is known about head injuries, Eastern Kentucky University Professor of Exercise and Sports Medicine Matt Sabin recommends caution.  For example, when a helmet hits a helmet, Sabin says diagnosing the health consequences can be difficult.

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12:00am

Mon September 24, 2012
Health and Welfare

Depot Jobs Down the Road

The final disposal of chemical munitions stored at the Bluegrass Army Depot is years away.  Still, local leaders are already considering the economic potential of the Madison County installation once the clean-up is complete.  It’s a challenge, but there’s also optimism the site can remain a major employer.  The clean-up’s timeline remains tentative, at best.  Assuming Congress fully funds the project, over the next decade, some one-thousand people will work to eliminate the chemical weapons stockpile at the Bluegrass Army Depot.

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12:18pm

Sun September 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Life Spans of Least Educated Shrinking

Dr. S. Jay Olshansky

Here's some bad news for states like Kentucky, which are overwhelmingly white and have large shares of the population that did not graduate from high school: A new study "that looks separately at Americans lacking a high school diploma found disturbingly sharp drops in life expectancy for whites," and four previous studies support that case, reports Sabrina Tavernise of The New York Times.

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12:15pm

Sun September 23, 2012
Health and Welfare

Study Estimates Secondhand Smoke Kills 42,000 a Year

More bad news for smokers and those who love them: A report out this week in the American Journal of Public Health says secondhand smoke is accountable for 42,000 deaths of non-smokers each year in the U.S., including nearly 900 infants. Kentucky likely has more than its share of those deaths because the percentage of Kentuckians who smoke is the nation's highest.

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2:45pm

Thu September 20, 2012

2:03pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Policy Group Uses Census Data to Encourage Medicaid Expansion

A progressive economic group says Kentucky should expand Medicaid under the Affordable Care Act based on recently release Census data. The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy points to data that shows the percentage of Kentuckians without insurance dropped last year based on early elements of the health care law.

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1:02pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

UK Launches Study for Rural Women in Appalachia

Researchers at the University of Kentucky have embarked on a five-year study that aims to lower behavioral risks of HIV/AIDS and hepatitis C (HCV) among disadvantaged, rural women in Appalachian Kentucky. With the help of a $2.7 million grant from the National Institute on Drug Abuse, investigators will examine the effectiveness of a brief intervention in reducing high-risk behaviors, including sexual practices and injection drug use.

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12:56pm

Thu September 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Analysis Predicts Two-Thirds of Kentuckians Obese by 2030

Nearly two-thirds of adults in Kentucky will be obese by 2030 if rates continue to climb as they are now, an analysis reported Tuesday. The level of obesity, defined as being roughly 30 or more pounds overweight, is projected to reach 60.1 percent in Kentucky in 2030, up from 30.4 percent in 2011, according to an analysis commissioned by the nonprofit Trust for America’s Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

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11:51am

Thu September 20, 2012
Health and Welfare

Childhood Leukemia Later On

Great medical strides have been made in the treatment of childhood leukemia.  Follow up care is a critical part of the formula for a healthy success long term.  A half century ago, the survival rate for children with leukemia hovered around ten percent.  Today, that percentage is more like 90 percent.  Despite the success, University of Kentucky Chief in the Division of Pediatric Hematology-Oncology Lars Wagner says there can be a cost to these kids…later in life

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12:41pm

Wed September 19, 2012

6:23am

Wed September 19, 2012
Health and Welfare

New Health Exchange Board Named

Governor Steve Beshear has named the members of the state health insurance exchange board.  The now-19 member board includes top level officials from Kentucky's major insurers, including Anthem, Humana and Bluegrass Family Health.  It also includes represents from the state’s major hospitals, including Central Baptist in Lexington and KentuckyOne Health, which operates statewide.  Patient advocate groups, including Kentucky Voices for Health, AARP and Kentucky Youth Advocates, also have seats on the board.

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4:41pm

Tue September 18, 2012
Health and Welfare

Volunteer Emergency Medical Squads Decline

Belfry Fire and EMS respond to accident (Rachel Dove-Baldwin, Williamson Daily News)

Volunteer emergency medical service squads appear to be dying out around the nation as rural populations change and EMS evolves, and Kentucky is no exception. Volunteer squads have long been the sole emergency responders in many rural areas, reports Candi Helseth of the health-oriented Rural Assistance Center, but according to a 2010 study, "Rural Volunteer EMS: Reports from the Field," 69 percent of 49 local EMS directors in 23 states reported problems recruiting and retaining volunteers.

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